Important Updates

Apr 01, 2016 (Fri)

Red Angus Association Announces Plans for MSU to Convert Red Bluff Research Cattle Herd to Red Angus


We are excited to share that Tom Brink, CEO of Red Angus Association of America, announced Montana State University's intent to convert the school's Red Bluff Research Cattle Herd to Red Angus.

Copy of email sent on March 31, 2016:

Continuation of
Red Angus Association Announces Plans for MSU...

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RE: Historic Opportunity; MSU herd to use Red Angus

Dear Montana Red Angus Member:

The Red Angus Association is excited to share the intent of Montana State University to convert their Red Bluff Research Cattle Herd to Red Angus! This significant conversion presents several opportunities for Montana Red Angus members, and the Red Angus Association stands ready to assist in this momentous effort.

The initial discussions regarding this possibility began in 2013, with Dr. Jennifer Thomson expressing interest in researching reproductive efficiency in beef cattle. As you know, Red Angus is a natural fit for such research due to the powerful combination of inherent maternal strengths and industry leading reproductive genetic predictions. Thanks to Dr. Thomson’s interest in the research area and effort, Montana State University has initiated a long-term research study evaluating reproductive efficiency, and in particular longevity. In facilitating her research, Montana State University has granted Dr. Thomson the approval to transition the herd to Red Angus.

Animals raised at the Red Bluff ranch are extensively measured, with numerous data-points collected from birth to weaning. Additionally, the possibility exists for feed intake and carcass data to be collected on a percentage of the steer calves. Montana State University will provide all collected data to the Red Angus Association, which will be added to the Red Angus database and used in EPD calculations.

This is where this historic transition could be of notable interest to Montana Red Angus members as there will be the opportunity to acquire valuable data from the Red Bluff Research Herd. All 250 females in the Red Bluff Research Herd are artificially inseminated. Members have the opportunity to contribute to the Red Bluff Research Herd through the donation of semen. Benefits of contributing to this effort include acquiring valuable data, showcasing genetics of your operation at Montana State University, and strengthening the relationship between Montana State University and Montana Red Angus members.

Members who would like to contribute to this effort through the donation of semen on registered Red Angus bulls should contact Larry Keenan at RAAA () by April 7th. Semen must be collected to meet Certified Semen Service minimum requirements. Additionally, it is requested that the donation includes a minimum of 50 straws of semen is per sire.

The Red Angus Association is excited about this opportunity and trust that Montana Red Angus members will join us in this effort.

Tom Brink

Red Bluff Research Ranch

Red Bluff Ranch is located near Norris in Madison County, Montana, along the west side of the Madison River. The operation comprises 13,750 acres of land, 10,000 deeded and 3,750 leased. Most of this land is rangeland, with limited hay meadows along the valley bottoms. Elevations range from 4,600 feet to 6,200 feet above the Madison River canyon. The ranch occupies most of the once thriving late 19th-early 20th century gold mining community in the Hot Springs Mining District which was second only in gold production to Alder Gulch. At its peak of activity, there may have been a population of approximately 3,000. The ranch nearly surrounds the town of Norris. The founder of Norris, Alexander Norris may have owned much or all of the Red Bluff Ranch at one time. The Red Bluff Research Ranch (previously known as the Rowe Brothers Ranch) was purchased for $164,000 ($16.83 per acre). The total acreage was 9,746. Two U. S. Forest Service Grazing Permits (Muddy Greek, Cache Creek) in the Gallatin National Forest came with the Rowe property. Some small additional land exchanges and purchases have taken place over the last 45 years. The grazing permits were returned to the Forest Service in 1976. A new lambing facility and mixing barn at the ranch was constructed in about 1990. This made lambing much easier. There are currently about 170 head of cattle and 900 head of sheep maintained on a year round basis at the research ranch. These livestock along with the range areas are used for both teaching and research.